Matt Doherty has every right to feel aggrieved after being left out of PFA Team of the Year
City and Liverpool dominate PFA team of the year
This morning the PFA have released their team of the year, and unsurprisingly it's made up mostly of Manchester City and Liverpool players. In fact, the only player not to play for one of those two sides is Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, which in itself is a questionable inclusion considering his overall performance this season.
The biggest shock is that Chelsea's Eden Hazard has somehow been left out of this unbelievably talented XI; the Blues playmaker has enjoyed his most productive season at Stamford Bridge since joining the club from Lille in 2012, scoring sixteen league goals whilst registering thirteen assists.
The Belgian looks set to finally depart West London in the summer, with Real Madrid heavy favourites to obtain his signature ahead of the 2019-20 campaign, and should the 28-year-old leave for a fresh challenge, there will be few people blaming him for his decision to trade life in England for an experience in Madrid.
Hazard will leave a legend at Stamford Bridge, especially if Chelsea obtain a top four finish at the end of the season, as he has been the sole reason the Blues have remained in Champions League contention for the duration of this fascinating campaign.
It is, quite frankly, a disgrace that Hazard has not been included into this season's PFA Team of the Year, but that's life, isn't it. The little magician has been included in the side four times since playing for Chelsea, so probably won't lose too much sleep over his exclusion this time around.
Doherty dumped for Liverpool's Trent
One player who has every right to feel aggrieved over his exclusion in this season's PFA Team of the Year, though, is Wolves' flying wing-back Matt Doherty. The Republic of Ireland international has been a revelation throughout his debut season in the Premier League, scoring four goals and chipping in with an impressive six assists in the top flight.
Nuno Espirito Santo's men have been the league's surprise package this time out, currently on course to break into next season's Europa League. Ruben Neves, Raul Jimenez, Joao Moutinho and Diego Jota have been the obvious standout performers this term, but that was always to be expected considering the calibre of those players.
Doherty, the club's current longest-serving player, has been a consistent member of Wolves' starting-eleven, with his contributions to goal massively helping the club in their quest to secure a seventh-placed finish this season. The 27-year-old, who joined the club from Irish outfit Bohemians in 2010, has had a hand in 22% of Wolves' 44 goals so far this term, including netting the second in last night's 3-1 win over Arsenal.
Having risen from the depths of League One to the dizzy heights of the Premier League's top seven with Wolves, Doherty is the only player to have resisted the mass exodus of players since Santo took charge of the club back in 2017. The Irishman proved his worth in the Championship last season, as Wolves dominated proceedings and won the title with ease and has now proven that he is a capable top flight footballer with an array of different qualities, in defence as well as in attack.
Doherty has been a mainstay in a dynamic back five (which turns into a back three when Wolves are in the attacking phase) that have conceded just 43 goals this season - the fewest out of any team outside of the current top four. He has, for all intents and purposes, been the division's standout right-back this time out, and though Liverpool Trent Alexander-Arnold has also enjoyed a successful campaign, you would be hard pushed to find anyone disagreeing with the statement that Doherty should probably be in the PFA Team of the Year ahead of him due to the sheer level of consistency he displayed.
Liverpool's exciting young full-back, who has now broken into Gareth Southgate's England squad, has been fantastic this season, but has missed large parts due to injury; the 20-year-old has made 26 PL appearances this term - nine fewer than Doherty's 35. He does win the battle of assists between the two, registering two more than his Irish counterpart, but has scored three goals less than Doherty, with his only strike coming against Watford in the Reds' 3-0 win at Vicarage Road back in November.
With Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson and Sadio Mane all also making up the PFA's dream eleven, and as many as six players from Manchester City (all of which deserve to be included, may I add), it would have perhaps been nice to see a player from outside of the league's 'big six' earn a call-up. With the stats also backing up Doherty's cause, it is a real shame that the 27-year-old surprise package has been overlooked this year.
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